Most people say to ease into things. I have never been able to. I did sleep in though. Got up about 6:45am and slowly gathered myself from the warm comfy wood floor to go out in the pooring rain. I hit the top of Springer at 7:31am May 15th (my official start time.) My birthday is 7/31, neat connection. Feels good to finally get on the trail. It poured a couple of inches over night and was raining most of the day. The trail was at times a flowing creek and a lot of puddles. But otherwise in good shape(not terribly muddy.) It is always fun to be moving and warm while running thru the rain. However; not drying off before camp would make for an awfully cold night. Finally, the winds started picking up and around 5:45pm the sun poked out. It felt great and I knew I would have a chance to dry a bit before camp. After waiting for the wind to dry the leaves off, I finally got most of myself nearly dry. I rolled into Low Gap Shelter around 7:00pm. 43.2 miles of trail behind me and feeling good(but tired.) Food and off to bed.
Note: The real reason for the absurd first day was the logistics. I could not camp between miles 25 and 37 without a bear canister. Fine. Ill sleep at the shelter at 38.5 miles. Nope. That was 1.2 miles off the trail so I left it up to how I felt. Today I felt good. So it was 4.8 more easy miles.